Cheap Easy Dog Run to Build




About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

Intro: Cheap Easy Dog Run to Build

A couple of times a year we go to my son's property in central Texas. We spend a week or two there; making sure everything is in order and the grass is mowed. We got tired of trying to find a reliable dog sitter so my husband designed this dog run so we could bring our dogs and worry less about them. They like it better because they don't miss us so much.

This type of dog run is much cheaper than $500.00 ones you can buy and they work just as good and they look fairly nice. He purchased the panels about eight years ago at 20 bucks a piece. We already had the wire, gate, and hinges. You will notice a metal fence post that has not been driven into the ground. My husband used it to stabilize the dog run while we connected it together.

The great thing about this run is you can make it more permanent without a lot of labor or cost. We have used the panels for a portable dog run as well as keeping the dogs out of the garden when they can run free in our fenced yard.

I am not a professional and this project has not been tested like companies who make them do; so please use common sense and understand if you make this you are at your own risk. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD AROUND SMALL CHILDREN. THEY COULD TRY CLIMBING THE DOG RUN AND GET HURT.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

This is what you will need:

Heavy gage wire live stock panels they come 20 foot long 48 inches tall 2x 4 or 4x4 or 6x8 square mesh

How many you need will depend on how large you need to build it. The panels can bend if you bend them carefully.

We purchased ours at a farm supply store in Texas

Aluminum wire My husband likes it because it is easy to bend and work with.

Standard chain link fence gate hinges optional

Old metal gate optional

Metal T fence post optional for a permanent dog run or semi portableabout 5

Sledge Hammer 4 pound


Tape measure

9 Safety latches or clamps 2 at each corner and one in the middle

Reciprocating saw if you are adding a gate or need to cut the panels.

Oil using oil on the blade of the saw helps it cut easier.

Step 2: Gather Supplies and Tools

If you are attaching the dog run to a existing fence you would only need 3 panels.

Lay out the panels.

Choose level ground to set the fence up and level if needed making a trench with a shovel.

Step 3: Connect the Panels Together

My husband likes to use the safety latches to attach the panels together because they are quick and easy but wire will work just as good. You may overlap the panels if you want the dog run smaller and don't have a way to cut them down. Just add more wire stays to secure it.

Cut one panel for the gate opening or He has used the safety latches to open and shut the panels when it is portable. If you cut a panel it is best to file the rough edges and slightly round them so they are not so sharp. I liked it much better when he added the gate because it was easier to open and close. It takes more time to set up though and you need to add chain link post, gate, and hinges.

If you want the dog run to be stronger drive metal fence posts as shown in the following pictures at all 4 corners.

Step 4: Attach the Gate If Desired

Here is how we attached the gate:

We drove a metal post in the ground at the front two corners and left a little bit of the bottom part of the post exposed as shown. We placed a chain link fence post over the top of the post and let it set on the bottom section of the metal fence post. Then we connected the hinges for the gate. It took less than an hour to erect after we cut the gate opening.

Step 5: Fence Post

If you want to add strength to the dog run you can use metal t fence post at each corner. It helps to stabilize the dog run. My husband has used it without the post with no problems. The wire can be bent to form a corner. I will share the pictures how to do this although; we did not want to bend our wire and we did not have a scrap to use to bend, but hopefully you can tell from the pictures how it can be done. He laid a piece of plywood on the sidewalk to protect the concrete. Then he laid the wire over the plywood. He placed the white plywood (1/2 to 3/4 inches thick) over the wire so he would have a place to stand and the weight of him standing on the plywood holds the wire firmly while he is bending the wire.

My husband starting at one side of the panel; used the wrench to slightly bend each lateral wire; lengthwise of the panel; bent each lateral about 15 degrees working across the panel. He repeats the process about three times until the corner is formed. I took pictures from panels that we used for a fence. You can see the bend in the wire and how it looks.

Step 6: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

We have saved a lot of money not using pet sitters over the years because we take the dog run and dogs with us and set the run up when we can. The dogs like it much better than being tied to a tree or post and we think it is much safer. There is plenty of room to put a dog house and add plywood to the top and sides for weather conditions. The price is not too shabby either. My husband was explaining to me you can make a fence without using post by zig zagging the panels.

If you would like to vote for this entry for the Pet contest please come back when the vote button is in the top right corner. Thanks so much for your support.

Thanks for viewing and do have a safe and happy spring!

I like to take the time to thank our sponsors'.




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    16 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I used the plans and built my dog a dog run VERY cheap and easily! It was the best decision I've ever made. To my family and I, it just made economic sense to build a DIY dog run. We spent a fraction of the cost of buying an expensive pre-built one that just have to be assembled anyway...why pay inflated prices for material? The guide on that website is so very easy to follow and it doesn't matter if you're a total beginner like us. We were on a very small budget and found so many wonderful plans for our dog was hard to pick just one, but the one we chose is terrific! We actually built the one that is featured on the website's homepage. Our dog finally has the dog run we've dreamed of and it was VERY affordable!

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    How much did it cost you to buy all the supplies to build your dog run?


    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi Angie,
    Thanks so much for sharing this information with my readers. So happy your dog has a great place to run and play~


    Reply 2 years ago

    These are very heavy (not flimsy at all). They are called livestock panel heavy gage galvanized welded wire fencing panels.My husband thinks they might be 1/8th or 1/4 inch, but he does not know the gage. I think he is wrong about 1/8th inch because the wire is heavy. He paid about 25 dollars on sale 4 foot by 20 foot long and 4x 4 mesh. He thinks they are about 50 dollars regular price.

    Here is another place to look:

    We bought ours here but it does not show the pictures or gage:

    I hope this helps, and thanks so much for stopping by to take a peek.



    4 years ago

    I would love to know how to bend the corners!!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    I have edited the instructable to show how to bend the wire. I hope this explains it for you. thanks for commenting and have a great day!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is perfect, gives dogs enough space, with them also being safe. Very innovative sunshiine! :D

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I recently built a dog pen with a friend out of 16'X4' "cattle panels"....we did have to wrap the bottom with a roll of hardware cloth. T-posts at every corner & at the center of each panel....the whole thing was secured with "zip-ties".

    The pen was built for a stray that we captured just a few days before she gave birth to a litter of 10 pups. Mom & pups are doing fine! <3

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Zip ties would be a great thing to use. Have fun with the pups. Animals are so fun. Have a great day.


    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting Danger. The dog run is such a relief for to have for the dogs. We have used this run for 8 years maybe longer. We have built the permanent dog run and have the portable one as well. Never had any problems with either one of them. Have a great day.



    4 years ago on Introduction

    If you have any questions I am happy to try and answer them, thanks.